I once heard about a certain comic book executive at a certain comic book publisher who, during the nineties cover speculation boom, would get extra copies of the publisher's rare variant covers printed, and then trade them with a drugs dealer of their acquaintance for copious amounts of narcotics for the executive and their friends.
The executive would get excellent quality drugs, for around 1/1000 of the street price. And the drug dealer would get the comics for around 1/10 of the street price. Both were happy, until the speculator market collapsed. If only the government had tried fostering a market in collectible heroin, it could have destroyed that industry far more effectively. And drug use would have gone way down, as people wanted to keep their cannabis mint in the baggie.
I'm sure I was going somewhere with this. Oh yes.
Aaron Castro was arrested and sentenced last year as leader of a meth ring, who channeled his profits into comic books. Over 18,000 of them. And now seized by federal authorities.
As well as laundering the drugs money into a comic business, he also hid meths between the pages. No knowledge if any of it was slabbed though.
The LA Times reports that Castro fell foul to his own addiction. Of comics that is.
An associate told detectives that Castro's comic collecting also seemed to have turned into a kind of mania, and he "began to struggle with money because he would spend his drug money on comic books," court papers said.
The Denver Post reported that a U.S. Marshals Service website sold the collection for $125,050. Who the lucky buyer of what archivists will no doubt call The Meth Collection, is as yet unknown.